Guides Olympic Lifting Training Notes

A Coach Is More Than A Teacher

A Coach Is More Than A Teacher

Achieving the results in sports is a cooperative work of an athlete and a coach. The proficiency of a trainer lies in his ability to work with the beginner and young athletes, as well as with the professional athletes.

The great importance for the coach is his ability to plan and analyze the training process, to understand the competition strategy and tactics, to identify the abilities of the opponents, to be familiar with the athletes’ mental qualities and be able to manage them. A coach has to know the competitions rules, be able to use the data of the scientific research and constantly improve the professional level of his  knowledge.

At the last World Master Championship in Montreal, the total number of participants was 689 people from 54 countries and the oldest participant was 87 years old.


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The International Weightlifting Federation pointed out this unique fact and stated that weightlifting today can be called a mass sport, which is really great for health improving and can be an excellent way of daily fitness activities.

The President of the International Weightlifting Federation, Dr. Tamas Ajan, said: “These competitions have confirmed one more time, that there is no such a concept for weightlifting as the old age.”

This all means the great importance of a trainer’s role as an agitator and promoter of a healthy lifestyle. Once I heard a joke: “Never trust a fat trainer,” probably, there is some sense in it))

A coach is a multifaceted and creative profession, requiring imagination and strong organizational skills. Take at least the attractiveness and equipment of the gym, judging from how it all looks, you can tell a lot about the people, working there.

The main way of a trainer’s influence on the athletes is the language. With the help of a word, the coach leads the training process and the athletes’ actions. Communication is often accompanied by evocative facial expressions and various body movements. This enhances the emotional and aesthetic effect of the word. Therefore, the coach needs to constantly improve the level of speech proficiency and culture, its purity, accuracy, consistency, expressiveness, imagery and clarity, as well as the artistry – I’m not joking.

 competitions rules

The trainer’s work depends on the ability to understand the athlete’s state of mind. This skill is formed due to monitoring the athletes’ condition, understanding their worries, and noticing the personality changes. In single cases, only the athlete’s appearance (for example, fatigue, gloomy face) can help the coach to assess his preparedness for the training loads. Understanding the condition with the help of some slightly noticeable signs helps the trainer to adjust the training plan.

Attentive attitude to the athlete contributes not only to improving sports results, but also increases the image of the coach. I often think of a case when I was 22 years old, I came to my training, but there was neither the mood nor the desire to work. I sat down on the bench and was trying to force myself to go to the locker room and put on my weightlifting shoes, but the coach, having looked carefully at me, said: “You don’t need to train today, go outside and get some fresh air – it will be better.” And then I realized that my coach sees and understands a lot.

Being a good coach means being able to explain difficult things in simple words. The skill of a clear expressing one’s thought is not given to everyone and does not come instantly. The trainer should constantly improve himself in the methods of transferring his knowledge. My American colleague Kevin Doherty, the coach of the US team and the Hussle Free club from San Francisco, told me that he loves watching foreign coaches at the international competitions: “When you don’t understand their language, but you see their facial expressions, body movements and emotions, you learn from them to transfer the information in different ways.”

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The academic abilities of the coach are of great importance too. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, trainers have an access to the endless sources of information that expand the understanding of the body’s capabilities of the athletes and the methods to increase their efficiency.

The important thing for the trainer is also the ability to analyze personal pedagogical activity. An essential role in the coach’s work is played by authoritarian abilities, which means a personal strong-willed influence on the athletes.

To summarize, I would like to quote one Cuban coach Luis Lopez, who once said in his lecture that “the real coaching experience comes after 10 years of work, then you are just starting to understand what is going on.” And this was said by a man, who has been training for 34 years, whose experience contains a lot of champions, the work with national teams of different countries and his athletes’ performance at four of the Olympic Games.

Train together – train right!

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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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